November 12, 2015 | Claire

'Planet hunter' would be an amazing job title. Some lucky scientists are doing just that. Their latest discovery is only slightly bigger than Earth and called GJ 1132b - but I'm hoping a catchier name will follow.

The planet orbits a star 370 trillion kilometres from Earth. That's fairly close in cosmic terms, but still far too far away to visit. Instead, to find out more scientists aim to examine the planet's atmosphere.

Temperatures on GJ 1132b are like the hottest setting on our ovens. This makes it unlikely we'll find life there, but I think it's fascinating how much we can find out about something so far away.


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A year on GJ 1132b lasts only 1.6 Earth days.


Image: Flickr/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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